This week in Talking Points we look at what to look out for in game week 8 to be prepared for the early game week 9 transfer. We look at the teams with a good run of games and the teams with a tough run of games, and we consider the implications of last weekend’s formation changes and if these will be repeated this weekend. All the while we chat about this weekend’s action in our comments section.
Good Runs from game week 9 onwards
Stoke came away with an all-important point against Manchester United but they still sit nineteenth in the league. They’ll look to climb out of the relegation zone over the next few games as they host Sunderland, Swansea and Bournemouth, as well as making trips to Hull and West Ham.
Lee Grant had a fantastic game for Stoke and single-handedly kept them in the game as they were dominated by Manchester United. He was rewarded with a bonus point for his eight saves and presents himself as a good budget option between the sticks while Butland is out. It’s not inconceivable that Stoke will keep some clean sheets in the next games and if Grant shows the form he did against Manchester United, he can score points even if he concedes.
— Sportdec (@SportdecApp) October 14, 2016
In midfield and attack the options are very thin. You can take a punt on Arnautovic, Shaqiri or Bony finding their form over the next games but for now there doesn’t seem to be many points lurking within Stoke’s attack.
Bournemouth took the lead twice against Watford but finally had to settle for a draw. They now face a generous run of games against Hull City (H), Spurs (H), Middlesbrough (A), Sunderland (H) and Stoke (A).
Artur Boruc is the second highest scoring goalkeeper in FPL after two clean sheets and a penalty save. There’s definitely potential for some more clean sheets in the coming games, making the likes of Adam Smith a great option. He tends to go forward from the right-back position, and it has paid off as he has already racked up a goal and an assist this season. He is one of the best defenders at his price.
— AFC Bournemouth (@afcbournemouth) October 8, 2016
Against Watford, Bournemouth scored more than once in a top-flight game for the first time in 12 games, so up front the options are limited. In midfield King has scored twice this season but there are doubts over his playing time. Stanislas impressed with a goal and an assist in the last two games, while up front Callum Wilson has netted twice this season. As part of a rotation, Bournemouth attacking players can be useful but overall there are better, more consistent options elsewhere.
Hull suffered their third defeat in a row against Chelsea, although that was to be expected. Now, they are looking forward to winnable games against Bournemouth (A), Stoke (H), Watford (A), Southampton (H) and Sunderland (A).
After an impressive start to the season that saw them beat Leicester and Swansea, Hull have found life in the Premier League tough as they’ve only picked up one point in the last five games. This was not surprising given that these games included Manchester United, Liverpool, Arsenal and Chelsea. Caretaker boos Mike Phelan has Hull playing very organised and disciplined, but as soon as they start chasing games they look more vulnerable at the back.
You could consider Davies or Robertson if you feel the next games will yield some clean sheets but the only valuable and worthwhile FPL option within the Hull team is Snodgrass. He has already scored three times this season and since he’s on set-piece duties we can expect to see more in the next couple of games. He’s a good option if you’re looking for a cheaper midfielder along the premium options.
Bad Runs from game week 9 onwards
Manchester United performed well against Stoke but somehow failed to secure the three points as they couldn’t find the back of the net. They now have a difficult run against Liverpool (A), Chelsea (A), Burnley (H), Swansea (A) and Arsenal (H).
United dominated Stoke and created a string of good chances. Rooney starting on the bench for the second game in a row. Pogba was given the freedom to roam forward with the protection from Herrera beside him. The Frenchman created a great opportunity for Zlatan in the opening minutes and came close himself as he shot wide. After Martial broke the deadlock the game looked finished as Stoke did not show much going forward. The goal from Allen came out of the blue as De Gea failed to hold onto attempts from Johnson and Walters.
The United defence has only kept two clean sheets in the opening seven games and doesn’t look like good value anymore, despite Bailly showing a promising start to the season defensively the defence is now looking vulnerable. In midfield Pogba is showing an increase in form and Mata has done well but for his price we should expect more. Unfortunately, Zlatan has blanked for three consecutive games and even though he is getting the service and getting his shots on target, he simply fails to convert. With two difficult away games coming up, it might be time to look elsewhere for goals.
— Manchester United (@ManUtd) October 14, 2016
West Brom drew with Sunderland at The Stadium of Light following a late equaliser from Patrick Van Aanholt. Now, they have a frightening run of games against Spurs (H), Liverpool (A), Manchester City (H), Leicester (A) and Burnley (H).
Sunderland dominated West Brom in the first half and the Baggies scored against the run of play. The second half was pretty dull as neither side created much, but the Black Cats showed character and pushed on to score the equaliser late into the second half.
The late goal would’ve frustrated Foster and McAuley owners as they were ridden of their clean sheet. It’s advisable to hold onto them, but don’t buy at this point in time. Up front, Chadli continued his strong start and he has now been involved in five of West Brom’s last six Premier League goals (three goals, two assists). Monitor his performance against “stronger” opposition before buying.
Other Talking Points
- Lukaku now has five goals in his last three Premier League appearances as he scored his first ever direct free kick in the league. His consistency combined with Everton’s good form overall makes him very appealing so don’t hesitate to buy him for your team.
- Benteke also did well in the “Battle of the Belgians” as he scored a great header against Everton and was a constant threat throughout the game. Consider him for your third striker spot.
- Payet saved the day for a demoralised and uninspired West Ham side against Middlesbrough as he scored with a trademark magical individual effort and confirmed that he can score points no matter the form of the team. Antonio started up front but was largely ineffectual in this role and was later moved back to his familiar right-wing spot. Hold but don’t buy.
- Troy Deeney scored his 99th goal for Watford against Bournemouth and is their joint top-scorer in Premier League history with 16, level with Odion Ighalo. Deeney has found his good form and Watford’s fixtures favour him as a strong candidate up front.
- Patrick Van Aanholt came off the bench to score the equaliser but more interestingly, he was played in a more attacking position, as a left midfielder rather than his usual left-back position. Monitor his positioning and performance in the upcoming games.
- Diego Costa remains one of the most consistent players this season after his sixth return in seven games. Consider him if you’re looking for a Zlatan replacement.
- Firmino scored a brace after having blanked the previous week. A Liverpool midfielder seems essential at this point but it remains impossible to say which one to get, as they all seem to be showing promising performances. Pick one according to your budget and stick with it.
- Arsenal’s defence continues to impress as they picked up another clean sheet. Consider picking up Cech, Koscielny or Bellerin.
- Son Heung-min has been involved in eight goals in his last seven Premier League games (six goals, two assists) and is securing his place in the Spurs team. He’ll be travelling with the South Korean team over the international break so he could need some rest when he returns.
- Southampton are unbeaten in their last six matches in all competitions, keeping six clean sheets in the process (four wins and two draws). Consider getting one of Fonte, van Dijk, Bertrand or Forster.
Good luck this weekend.